Glasgow Jewish Educational Forum

The Letter the JC Declined to Publish

Posted by Admin on June 4, 2010

GJEF have decided to publish the text of letter that was submitted to the Jewish Chronicle in response to their misleading report of the First Minister’s address to the community. The letter was rejected for publication by the Chronicle.

There is a great deal more to say about this matter, and we intend to release a detailed statement next week.

Dear Sir,

Regrettably, Leon Symons’ article last week about the First Minister’s address to the Scottish Jewish community was inaccurate.

Firstly, it did not explain to your readers the sequence of events that led to Mr Salmond accepting the Glasgow Jewish Educational Forum’s invitation to talk directly to our community. As was made clear to your reporter by the First Minister, it was Martin Bright’s contention that the community had shrunk in size due to the increase of antisemitism (JC, 19th March) that compelled the First Minister to state that the Jewish community is not under siege and that Scotland is a good place for Jews to live. That conclusion would not have been evident to anyone reading Bright’s article.

Irresponsible articles and reporting have led some to believe that Martin Bright’s article was accurate, and it is to Mr Salmond’s credit that he thought it important to set out the Scottish Government’s position. Your reporter also did not point out that Mr Salmond was well-received, and our feedback is that most of the audience welcomed and appreciated his commitment to discuss these issues directly with anyone in the Jewish community.

Finally, the Glasgow Jewish Educational Forum are concerned at the repeated attempts of SCoJeC to exaggerate the threat of antisemitism, which will only cause harm to the interests of Jews living in Scotland.

Yours sincerely,

Michael Samuel
Jeremy Stein
Tony Tankel

Glasgow Jewish Educational Forum.

9 Responses to “The Letter the JC Declined to Publish”

  1. Within the Corridors of Influence. said

    This is a first. I am communally very involved and I have to admit that GJEF are right about this. Hyping up anti-semitism will do our community no favours.
    I have also been part of an unofficial boycott of GJEF which has been whispered between those in the know for months. I won’t be part of this anymore.
    I have been concerned for months about exaggerating anti-Jewish feeling and I am pleased that some people have had the courage to speak out.
    For the first time I can see the problem that GJEF would face if they used their own names on this blog. I won’t because I know what would happen to me if I broke ranks.
    However, GJEF have used their own names in this letter so the nonsense about them hiding their identities has been proven to be nonsense.
    Well done.

  2. D. Tutu said

    My learned friend, the Rev Jesse (John)
    Jackson wrote a very silly letter to the Jewish Telegraph yesterday about the First Minister’s address to the Jewish community.

    A very wise man informed me last night that this letter epitomises everything that is currently wrong with the Glasgow Jewish community.

    If John Jackson does not understand that it is possible to be critical of Israel without being antisemitic then he needs to educate himself quickly. There are many Jews who are critical of Israel – in John Jackson’s eyes what does that make them.
    Please don’t answer that John – better you keep your private thoughts to yourself.

    The First Minister pointed out that Jews in Scotland should not be judged by the actions of the State of Israel. That is an entirely reasonable statement to make. John, if you got off your backside and had come to listen to the First Minister you would have understood his argument and would not resort to silly letters in the Jewish press.

    I have several non Jewish and Jewish friends who are very critical of Israel this week. Some of them live in Israel so what does that make them John?

    Yours sincerely
    D. Tutu (Rev)

  3. Paul said

    The constant exaggeration of the threat of anti-semitism not only reduces the value of any discussion about the real dangers posed, but also whips up tension.

    When people are encouraged the believe that they are living under siege, everything starts to look like a nail to hammer at. It is the reason why we get the unqualified and unjust support for Israel’s illegal actions during the week that so belittles any true advocacy. In my opinion, it is also the reason for the worrying amount of racism in the Glasgow Jewish community, as its much easier to hate or be intolerant of others if you put them behind a cloak of anti-semitism.

    I am encouraged by the willingness to speak out against it.

  4. Grandfather. said

    Good letter. Why did the JC not print it?
    The Scottish Council of Jewish Communities seem to define themselves by doing exactly as you describe – ” exaggerating the threat of antisemitism ”
    Last night we had our own survey around the dinner table and no one thought that antisemitism was getting worse.

  5. Its Personal said

    I will admit it openly. I do not like GJEF. I do not like how they work. I will not use my own name on their blog because I wouldn’t give them the satisfaction of letting them know that I have used their medium which I despise.
    It is personal, because they have done me over a few times on the blog.

    Unfortunately, I do not like how SCOJEC have operated either and I warned others in the community that allowing Ephraim Borowski free reign to represent this community to Government would be folly. The charge against SCOJEC by GJEF is very close to home. If SCOJEC were not the champions of outing antisemitism they have no remit so it is clear why they are determined to pursue the path they are walking down.

    I am one of the few who has resisted any overtures to join SCOJEC. I knew who I was dealing with. Those involved with the students like Chaplaincy also knew but either forgot or were seduced by the opportunities that they were told would be theirs. They have got it completely wrong – now there is a student section on the SCOJEC website and they like so many others are intertwined with an organisation that is making serious errors.

    My advice to anyone with any commonsense would be to avoid being tied up with SCOJEC at all. As I stated at the beginning, I can’t stand GJEF but that does not mean that they are not right about this issue.

  6. jose said

    Good letter. JC is a joke newspaper. Deserves a new editor. Why only 3 signatories though? What happened to dirty Dave and nasty Nick. Do they not have big enough cahunas to go public? We deserve some answers!

  7. Stalin Lite said

    Take a look at the Scojec website – every news item on it is about Ephraim Borowski.
    Stalin’s cult of personality looks miniscule in comparison. Borowski is the self styled “Great Leader”. Incidentally, I listened to a recording of Borowski’s interview about the Israeli attack on the ship heading for Gaza and somehow the discussion is about antisemitic attacks in Scotland. It can be accessed on the scojec website in the section “New on Site”
    GJEF are right – Scojec are exaggerating antisemitism.

  8. Stalin Lite said

    Oh Jesus – Scojec will probably claim that I’m antisemitic because I have compared Borowski to Stalin. And good grief I’ve used the word Jesus too.
    Console yourself Scojec – I’m Jewish and I am not a self-hating Jew either.

  9. Mr Has Been ( Or Never Was) said

    I have just listened to Borowski on that Radio interview about the naval attack.
    Stalin Lite you are wrong. Vince Cable told Gordon Brown that his transformation from Stalin to Mr Bean had been remarkable. I would suggest that Borowski has never been an accomplished advocate on behalf of Israel or our own community. Borowski has metamorphised into our very own Mr Bean. His performance on that programme was lamentable.

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